Marco Rubio op-ed calls for more accountability at VA

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio wants America to “come together,” put aside politics and fix the problems at the Veterans Administration.

In an op-ed special to the Tampa Bay Times, the Florida Senator uses the Memorial Day weekend to remember our duty to the “brothers and sisters in arms who continue the fight for freedom.”

“Our treatment of our veterans should prompt the same unified response and solidarity among our people as our sacred tradition of honoring those who have fallen in battle,” Rubio writes.

Rubio was inspired to act by the recent reports that the Department of Veterans Affairs had denied care to certain veterans. Twenty-six VA facilities are now under investigation for what he calls “disgraceful mismanagement.”

Florida is home to nearly 2 million veterans, Rubio notes.

The Senator has been working with Pensacola Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller for legislation leading to higher responsibility at the VA and permitting the secretary to fire inept middle-level managers — the same authority that is common in the private sector.

The House passed the legislation with an overwhelmingly bipartisan 390-33 vote, but the vote was blocked in the Senate.

Over the holiday, Rubio encourages people to contact their senators and communicate why those in charge should be held accountable for the mistreatment of veterans. Current law frustrates accountability by prohibiting the firing of incompetent VA officials, the reason why Rubio’s legislation is important.

 

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.